PHIL 353 - The Rights And Wrongs Of Business Practices
Winter 2017, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
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Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course explores moral theory by examining moral issues raised by capitalist economies generally and for-profit corporations specifically. Throughout the semester we will address such questions as:

  • do corporations have moral duties, or are they only obligated to maximize profit?
  • What’s so bad about breaching a contract?
  • What are the moral considerations for and against paying the average CEO hundreds of times more than the average employee?
  • Do corporations have moral obligations, or are they only required to maximize profit?

In addition to moral theory students will be introduced to the political, legal, and economic background of contemporary debates about business practices and regulation.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and Participation (5%)
Case Study Responses (15%)
Paper I (20%)
Midterm (20%)
Paper II (20%)
Final Exam (20%)

Intended Audience:

This course would be particularly relevant to: undergraduate students enrolled in the Ross School of Business; the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program; those in the Program in Entrepreneurship; Org Studies majors; and philosophy students generally. What makes this course distinctive as a Business Ethics course is the combination of an in-depth survey of the moral philosophical tradition, the incorporation of empirical, legal, and political literature, and moral “case studies”.

Class Format:

Students will be expected to collaborate with their small-group partners in order to achieve a consensus regarding what one ought to do in the scenarios presented. Other student groups will be asked to comment on the decision reached, and the Instructor will guide discussion and provide critical feedback as necessary.


PHIL 353 - The Rights And Wrongs Of Business Practices
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:00PM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
MW 2:00PM - 3:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)